The camouflage can’t disguise the fact that this is a near-finished prototype for a new Ducati Hypermotard that’s sure to be officially unveiled later this year as a 2019 model.
Visually, there’s a gamut of changes on display compared to the existing Hypermotard 939. All the body panels are new, with a wider, shallower headlight design that’s tucked more deeply into the top of the beak-like front mudguard to give a more aggressive face.
There’s also a new fuel tank on display, plus deeper side panels to cover the ends of the radiator.
At the rear is one of the biggest changes, with a pair of under-seat exhausts instead of the existing model’s single right-hand pipe. These pipes need more extensive rear bodywork to shield them.
While the surfaces are all new, the chassis looks much like the existing bike’s trellis frame, with the same single-sided swingarm design. The engine, too, is still the Testastretta 11°, although from pictures alone we can’t tell if it remains the 937cc version as used on the current Hypermotard. We can see that the clutch cover is new, and it looks more like the design used on the Monster 1200.
Since the Hypermotard 939 is only two years old, the addition of a larger-engined version – a spiritual replacement for the original Hypermotard 1100 of 2007 – could make sense.
By Ben Purvis